Want a cat and a dog? 3 things to know before you bring them home!
If you are thinking about getting a cat and a dog, you'll need some pointers. There is a lot of truth to the saying, "fighting like cats and dogs" unless you introduce your dog to your cat carefully. According to a study soon to be published by Applied Animal Behavior Science, if you follow some ground rules your cat and dog can become the most loving companions.
1) It is best to make the introductions while they are both young, around 4 - 6 months old is the best. In fact, at this age, they are young enough to learn each other's body language and communicate with each other.
2) Get your cat first and get him used to the house before you get a dog. This way the cat can establish his territory before the dog enters the territory. For the cat this ensures a sense of security. The cat becomes the "alpha dog" in that territory. Which makes your cat much more receptive to the dog and makes the dog respect the cat. Which is exactly what your cat needs to be happy in this arrangement.
3) All cats and all dogs have their own personalities so if you've followed steps one and two and your cat and dog are still not getting along, it is probably a clash of personalities so you just have to make the best of it. Give your cat a safe place where the dog can't go and give him lots of loving.
Read more about In Multi-Pet Homes, Cats are Top Dogs!.
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